To Fight Pandemics, We Need Rural Hospitals

Since 2010, 130 rural hospitals have closed across the country and this crisis has only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. NRHA has led the fight in getting Congress to provide relief to rural America whose older populations are being hit hard by the virus. Sustainable relief in the form of eliminating cuts to Medicaid will be crucial to the survival of rural hospitals in and after the pandemic. Eased restrictions on telemedicine must also be made permanent so that senior citizens in rural areas have better accessibility to care. The virus is spreading rapidly in rural areas where the meatpacking industry is located, and there are fears that the vulnerable population here will be especially hard hit.